Coming Up : My Country; a work in progress
In a month’s time the Citizen’s Theatre in Glasgow will be host to a very special production. The National Theatre has collaborated for the first time with the Citizens Theatre to create a new play inspired by the recent EU Referendum. The views of people from across the UK, including Glasgow, have been interwoven by Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, and will be presented on stage at the Citizens Theatre from 28 Mar – 1 Apr, beginning the production’s UK tour following dates in London.
In the days following the Brexit vote, a team from the National Theatre of Great Britain spoke to people nationwide, aged 9 to 97, to hear their views. In a series of interviews, they heard opinions that were honest, emotional, funny and sometimes extreme. These testimonials are blended with speeches from political leaders to create a new play by Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate, and directed by National Theatre Artistic Director Rufus Norris.
Of the collaboration, Dominic Hill, Artistic Director of the Citizens Theatre said, ‘I have never known a time when people are so engaged, angry, frustrated or excited about what it going on in the world. It feels like the referendum voted unleashed these feelings. The Citizens Theatre has a duty to respond to these events – to offer a platform for debate and argument and to create opportunities for imagining, understanding and listening to differing opinions. That is why I’m so thrilled that we are part of ‘My Country’. We are at the heart of a Glasgow community – this will be a chance to listen to that community and to other voices from all across the country.’
Cast for My Country; a work in progress includes: Seema Bowri, Cavan Clarke, Laura Elphinstone Adam Ewan, Penny Layden, Christian Patterson and playing the voice of Caledonia, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama alumnus Stuart McQuarrie.
Artistic Director of the National Theatre, Rufus Norris, said, ‘One of my ambitions for the National Theatre is to make it truly national and through collaboration, embrace the creativity and opinion around the UK. The Brexit vote unleashed a host of questions about our country, way beyond the issue of Britain’s role in Europe. It articulated a deep disaffection. Those elements provoked a need and opportunity to create a piece of theatre that responds to that palpable sense of frustration and disillusionment. Art has always responded to what is happening now and it’s what I hope we achieve with My Country.’